How do news feeds work?
Our news feeds allow you to see when new
content has been added to the Pinside. You can get the latest articles and the most recently posted machine stories as
soon as they are published, without having to visit the site.
Feeds are also known as RSS. There is some discussion as to what RSS stands for, but most people plump for 'Really Simple Syndication'. In essence, the feeds themselves are just web pages, designed to be read by computers rather than people.
All the Pinside content in one handy news feed:
Your collection, wishlist, ratings and stories (replace "robin" with your own user name):
More feeds will follow, including a market-watch and shopping-watch on a machine basis. Imagine, all parts related to machines in your collection, via one feed!
Just like when you want to watch a video clip or listen to music on the web, you need a "player" of some kind to subscribe to feeds. Good news: Most of these tools are free, and there are many to choose from, so you can find the one that best suits you.
The "player" for a feed is called a feed reader. This tool lets you subscribe to any feeds you want, checks automatically to see when they're updated, and then displays the updates for you as they arrive.
Feed readers can run on your computer or you can sign up to use a feed-reader that runs on the web. If you use one of the web-based readers, you can access your feeds from anywhere you go, just by signing into the website that manages your feeds. If you use a feed reading program that installs on your computer, your feeds can be stored for you even if you're not connected to the Internet.
Here's a list of some of the most popular tools:
On the web: If you don't want to have to install a program, many people choose My Yahoo!, Google Personalized Homepage, My MSN, or My AOL to read feeds right within the home page that their browser starts in. Other providers of web-based feed readers include Rojo. Bloglines, Attensa Online, LiveJournal or NewsGator Online. All of the web-based services are free.
On your computer: If you want a feed reading program that runs on your own computer, there are a few options. Anyone using the Mozilla Firefox web browser has support for feeds built-in, and Microsoft Windows users have support for feeds in Internet Explorer 7. Apple Macintosh users can also use the built-in support for feeds in the Safari web browser.
If you want a separate program to read feeds, you can use FeedDemon or NewsGator for Microsoft Outlook or Attensa for Outlook if you're on Microsoft Windows. Both tools let you switch between these programs and the web-based reader at any time. If you're on a Macintosh running OS X, the most popular feed reader is NetNewsWire, which can also connect to the web-based services.